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Light Rain This Weekend And Warmer Temps As Mega-Ridge Of High Pressure Retreats

Precipitation and warmer temperatures have returned to the northwest. Light rain was falling all around the region Friday morning as fresher air moved in after a week in which a substantial ridge of high pressure had dominated and trapped in smoke all the way from the California wildfires.  Also gone were the freezing fog and black ice.  

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this mild pattern will continue this weekend and into mid-week.

“Not that much rain, maybe a few light sprinkles, “ he said. “Unexceptional, temperatures getting up into the lower to mid-40s.”

He says Saturday will be “another blah day” with lots of clouds and a few sprinkles. “Nothing too serious.”

Saturday night into Sunday, a stronger frontal system will come through overnight.

“So there will be some rain late Saturday night into Sunday morning,” he said. “Sunday will be predominantly cloudy, temperatures up around 45. So, not the best weekend unfortunately.”

Mass says the ski areas are hurting for fresh snow, but he doesn’t expect much of it till next week.

“They may get a few flurries, but nothing significant. And they need it,” he said.

He says a stronger weather system will be coming in on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

“That’ll bring precipitation here in the lowlands, several tenths of an inch.  But the temperatures will be colder. So I expect to get some substantial snow in the mountains, finally,” he said. “You know, probably a foot or two as we get above 4,000 feet, so really decent snowfall.”

Mass says if you’re into skiing, Thursday is your day. He doesn’t expect another refresh for quite a while.   

“A ridge of high pressure is going to build in right off our coast in the eastern Pacific and that’s going to shut down the precipitation from late Wednesday into next weekend,” Mass said. “So, it’s going to be back in the old super-ridge situation.”

The flow pattern has shifted, so Mass says we don’t need to worry about more smoke coming toward us from the California wildfires. But the air quality could deteriorate as things stagnate.

Enjoy the freshness this weekend.

To hear the full conversation, including an explanation of what caused some strange-looking “hole punch” clouds that set up over Seattle this week, you can click on the 'play' icon at the top of this post. 

Weather with Cliff Mass airs at 9:02 a.m. Friday, right after BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to podcasts of Weather with Cliff Mass shows, via iTunesor Google Play.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to